I might point out that Matheny, with his success of late, was a former catcher. So was Brenly, Heck, Ralph Houk was a former catcher.
Catchers know more about pitching than any other position players, for obvious reasons. And the biggest challenge facing Williams will be how he handles his pitchers — particularly his bullpen. As Davey was fond of saying — rightfully so — it is “my bench against the other guy’s bullpen, and his bullpen against my bench.”
Williams may be great at it. Or else all he may have to be is not terrible at it, if his team is good enough to overcome any managerial missteps.
It may be. Even the Nationals’ critics have to admit they are among the top three rosters in the NL, along with the Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
If Harper has a Mike Trout-like season (boy, I bet that hurt), or if Strasburg has the dominant season we have been waiting for since that magical June 2010 night when he debuted with 14 strikeouts in seven innings against Pittsburgh, the Nationals may been good enough to win it all with a first-year manager whose last baseball quote of the season may be, “Thank you, Commissioner Selig.”
• Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com.